What do I need to prove my case?
There are several things you will need to prove after being involved in an 18-wheeler or commercial vehicle accident.
If your accident was at in an intersection or otherwise in the vicinity of possible security cameras, those cameras could reveal the nature of the wreck in which you were not at fault.
Your truck accident lawyer can also seek access to truck company records revealing failure to maintain a vehicle properly, failure to hire and train drivers properly and failure to keep proper records of a driver’s hours. Documents such as the trucker’s logbooks and shipping and receiving receipts may also help bolster your case.
A skilled truck crash attorney also can seek access to a so-called “black box” for the large truck. This device may include data and records of some driving processes which might have contributed to the crash.
Your truck injury lawyer can also gather accident reports filed by police or other law enforcement authorities and emergency responders on the scene.
Also possible is engaging an accident reconstructionist to recreate the scene before, during, and after the crash occurred. Their research and findings can be used as evidence. But keep in mind, the trucking company or its insurance company may also hire specialists in an attempt to shift the blame for the crash from the truck driver to you!
Our team also works to collect evidence from the trucking and insurance company to determine if the trucking company or its driver have broken any state laws or federal rules and regulations.
Before you do anything with your vehicle, consult with your truck accident lawyer. The vehicle, in its current condition, may still be needed as evidence.
The semi-truck itself may also be used as valuable evidence by your attorney. That’s why trucking companies sometimes try to repair a damaged big rig quickly. But if you have quickly engaged a truck injury attorney, he or she may be able to send a spoliation letter or obtain a court order to preserve this evidence before the trucking company can destroy or obscure it.
Also, save all of your bills and receipts for any services you receive after the truck accident. These can include receipts for medical bills, auto repair bills, car rentals and even hospital expenses. Keep everything so you’ll have proof of your expenses due to the accident.
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Do I really need a lawyer if I was in an accident?
You need a truck accident lawyer because your injuries are costly and those who are responsible will resist paying for them. Our law firm has decades of experience fighting big trucking lines and their insurance companies to claim such payments for our clients — payments that our clients legally deserve after being injured in a large truck accident.
Keep in mind that trucking companies and the insurers who represent them pay top dollar to their own lawyers to handle their cases. That could include your case against them if you make a substantial claim or file a lawsuit.
Those companies don’t make money by routinely paying what they rightly owe after their negligence causes a truck accident injury or death. Instead, they try in every way at their disposal to resist paying for such losses.
That’s why you should be wary of trucking companies from the start. In fact, it’s wise not to contact a truck company at all when you have an injury claim — and if you do, by all means don’t sign anything for the truck company before first consulting a truck accident injury lawyer.
Also be aware that if you do call, a truck line may record the conversation and ask leading questions designed to misrepresent your case and undercut the severity of your claim.
Besides that, if you try to deal with a truck company or its insurer on your own, they may offer you nothing at all, or they may offer a payment far below what your injury is actually worth — even while trying to sound helpful and sympathetic.
Truck line representatives may even try to make you feel guilty for an accident, despite evidence that negligence of the trucker or trucking line caused it.
If you contact the trucking company or its insurer on your own, it’s virtually guaranteed that they will try to take advantage of you by refusing to pay or by offering only a tiny amount.
Truck companies also may try a strategy of repeatedly delaying your claim or making excuses in order to discourage you from continuing. Or they may question the projected long-term effects of your injury, as well as trying to shift the blame for the accident to you.
These reasons are why you’re strongly advised not to contact a truck company on your own. Instead, let an Adler truck accident attorney make that first call. Then let us deal with the trucking line or insurance company on your behalf.
Our truck injury lawyers know what various types of injuries are worth in terms of financial compensation, and they will fight for your right to claim such money. They will not blindly accept a low-ball settlement offer from an insurance adjuster or truck company. Instead, they will fight for you and for what you are rightfully owed.
Having an injury lawyer on your side can deter the truck line or insurance company from taking advantage of you. When they learn you’re being represented by a skilled truck accident injury attorney, they know they must take your claim seriously and cannot expect you to accept a ridiculously low offer.
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How much does it cost to hire an attorney?
There are no up-front costs upon hiring an 18-wheeler attorney. Most law firms take cases on a contingency basis, including wrecks involving 18-wheelers. That means you pay no attorney fees at all unless and until money is recovered for you. And then you pay only a portion of the settlement you are awarded, and nothing out of your own pocket. And if a settlement in your favor is not forthcoming, then you typically pay nothing at all.
How do settlements for commercial truck accidents work?
As with lawsuits for most car crashes, a large commercial vehicle accident may be handled by your truck crash lawyer with no need for a trial. That’s done by negotiating with defendants or their representatives for a settlement out of court.
Keep in mind that our attorneys never will accept a settlement offer without your approval. You must agree with the settlement terms that we negotiate.
Also rest assured that the vast majority of personal injury claims are handled by means of out-of-court settlements, with no need for a trial. You may never have to set foot in a courtroom.
How long does a trucking lawsuit take?
If an out-of-court settlement is not feasible and your case does go to trial, the time needed to resolve your 18-wheeler lawsuit can vary. “Every case is different,” Bill Adler says. “Some cases can be resolved in a matter of months, but others may require years of litigation.” Rest assured, our experienced attorneys will fight to resolve your case to your advantage as quickly as possible.
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